How to detect the deadliest form of cancer | The Economist

Lung cancer kills more people than any other form of tumour About nine out of ten people die… …within five years of being diagnosed with the disease If the cancer is caught very early most patients could be cured But doctors struggle to diagnose early… …because there are no symptoms until the cancer is in its late stages… …and has spread to other organs Some experts think that doctors should… …screen people at high risk to find lung cancer… …before symptoms appear The national lung-screening trial in America… …subjected 53,000 current and former heavy smokers… …to either X-ray or computed-tomography scans… …every year for three years Its results, reported in 2011… …found that screening with CT scans did save lives But there was a problem Too many of the lumps found during the screening were not cancer This is known as a false positive False positives can harm patients… …who undergo dangerous follow-up procedures… …such as biopsies, even if they do not have cancer It can also affect their mental health… …and false positives add to the cost of health care According to new data from the World Health Organisation… …these harms can be greatly reduced… …by following a different protocol Instead of treating all lumps as a positive result… …doctors are now advised to ignore the smallest nodules… …and treat them as a negative result This has halved the rate of false positives Out of every 1,000 people who were scanned… …356 people required follow-up testing… …under the old protocol With the new protocol, that has fallen to 180 Complications from follow-up testing have also been reduced These results show promise Many countries are waiting for the full report of another trial called Nelson… …before deciding whether to set up fully fledged screening programmes Preliminary data from the Nelson trial… …suggest that screening reduces the death rate from lung cancer… …among high-risk men by 26%… …and 61% in women If a balance between the cost and benefits of screening can be found… …lung cancer need no longer be… …a death sentence

29 thoughts on “How to detect the deadliest form of cancer | The Economist

  • What about "finding" cancer that's not there… as a ploy to expand profiteering from unnecessary treatments? A lot of that is happening in allopathic methodology married to big pharma.


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  • We've come a long way when it comes to treatment of cancer, but it's surprising we haven't had a near cure for it. Problem is, too many different cancers, it being different with each person sometimes, etc.

  • I have been doing "Sisha" for the past 4 years at least once or twice a month, shit i think i should stop now, this video somehow scared me.

  • Excessive CT scans will also increase your chance of having some kind of cancer due to the unpredictable effects of ionizing radiation. 1 Ct scan of the chest is equivalent to 100 Chest X-rays.

  • Unfortunately the deadliest forms of cancer are only detected at stage 4. There is no stage 5.

  • They say that the number of false positives decreases by ignoring small lumps, but they don't say what happens to the number of false negatives 🤔

  • CT and X-rays are not the best way in detection of lung cancer because the radiation that can ironically cause cancer. MRI would be a better diagnostic procedure.

  • quite an interesting list❗️

  • As a respiratory therapist and now biotech student, this video will soon be irrelevant because we will use genetic testing to screen everyone for cancer using a non invasive blood draw and we will do it without the radiation of scans and for a lower cost. Until then, put down the cigarette.

  • I worked in radiation oncology and any way one looks at the problem cancer is just ugly. It would be interesting if our government and corporations actually tried to be environmentally conscientious. I was an research intern at the Univ of Utah Medical School – Radiobiology Lab. We experimented on dogs to find where plutonium ended up in their physiology. It was interesting to look at the maps of the fall-out plumes over the USA from 216 above ground nuclear bomb tests that repeatedly dosed our country w/ radiation. You know where most cancers come from? From our contaminated air, food, and water, along w/ stupid things people do that results from corporate greed. Corporations knew what smoking did to people; just one example.

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